India’s Manav Thakkar settled for a bronze medal in the U-21 singles category while Harmeet Desai progressed to the pre-quarterfinals of the men’s singles in the ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open here on Friday. Manav, who had an impressive run in the tournament, lost to Russia’s Denis Ivonin in the semifinals (2-3) to miss out on the gold.
He began well, winning the first game 11-5, but lost the next 4-11. They shared the next two games too but Ivonin had the last laugh, winning the hard-fought decider 11-9.
Manav made a huge impact earlier, upsetting the U-21 World No. 8 from Japan, Yuki Matsuyama. Harmeet too impressed in his outing, beating Russia’s Alexey Liventsov 4-2. He took the opening game 11-9 but lost the next two (6-11, 10-12). The Indian then came into his own and won the next three (11-7, 11-6, 11-6 ) to enter the next round.
He takes on China’s Zheng Sun in the pre-quarters. Manav, who also competed in the men’s singles, lost to Belgium’s Robin Devos 0-4 (3-11, 11-13, 13-15, 10-12).
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